Japan to Release Radioactive Water into Pacific Ocean in Effort to Cool Reactors

BY News Desk  April 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM EST


Photo byTokyo Electric Power Co.

Workers at the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant are using a dye substance in an effort to trace the source of a leak spreading radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and hampering efforts to cool the reactors themselves.

Officials also deliberately released some 10,000 tons of contaminated water into the ocean to make room for water even more radioactive. Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency defended the release, saying the amount “is not harmful to people’s health and as it is necessary to avert an even bigger danger, we decided it was inevitable.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has confirmed that bringing the plant under control could take months and involve an ongoing release of radioactivity.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced over the weekend that it had located the bodies of two plant employees, Kazuhiko Kokubo, 24, and Yoshiki Terashima, 21, who were killed in the plant when the tsunami and 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit on March 11.

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